SKELTON: New Year's resolutions for state's politicians
Published: Monday, December 31, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 31, 2012 at 5:53 p.m.
From my skimpy research on New Year’s resolutions, I’ve learned that 40
A dismal record of weak will.
Yet New Year’s resolutions should be encouraged because they’re vital to self-improvement. They reflect at least a brief recognition of personal flaws and the need for betterment.
The first is for Gov. Jerry Brown, and it calls for some background:
Be more considerate of people, and not just those he regards as intellectual peers or is hitting up for political favors.
Inconsiderateness long has been a Brown flaw, regardless of such qualities as political brilliance and an ability to charm if he chooses. This defect isn’t just limited to eating off other people’s plates, an annoying habit.
Here’s the kind of thing I’m referring to: Early each year, California’s governor traditionally has spoken to the Sacramento Press Club. The sold-out luncheon is a big fundraiser for the club’s scholarship program that benefits college journalism students. Govs.
Brown has stiffed the club for two years running and is heading into a third. He basically ignores the invite. Just keeps the club dangling.
This is an old Brown trait.
The first time he was governor, in 1975, the state Chamber of Commerce invited him to speak
Ford walked across the street into Capitol Park en route to paying Brown a courtesy visit when Lynette
Fromme, from the old Charles Manson gang, served 34 years in federal prison. Ford, 17 days later, returned to California and another crazed, armed woman tried to kill him in San Francisco. The next year, Brown began accepting the chamber’s invitations.
We’ll keep the rest short.
Here are two resolutions for both the governor and the Democratic-dominated Legislature:
Find some financial angels for your bullet train obsession before it breaks the state.
Yes, high-speed rail is cool. No, it isn’t a freebie. It’s very costly
Don’t bank on fantasy money for any purpose.
No new spending program or tax cut should be enacted without it having an honest funding source.
The Legislature should resolve to do a bunch of things, including:
Pass fewer laws.
Too many legislators believe voters actually care about their trivial bills that cost an estimated $20,000 apiece to process through the system. During the last two-year session, nearly 1,900 bills were passed, including 248 that were vetoed by the governor.
Time out. Enforce the laws already on the books.
Get off their duffs in January and February and begin serious committee hearings on legislation.
There’s too much time wasted because of outdated snail mail rules requiring adequate public notice. It’s a rationale for procrastination. Everybody’s on the Web these days.
Do the public’s business in public.
Nothing wrong with closed-door deals negotiated in the governor’s or leaders’ offices. But allow ample time for the compromises to be meaningfully debated in open committee hearings, even if that is inconvenient and politically risky.
After all, the public is paying for all this.
Show some courage.
Democrats, stand up to environmentalists and untangle the anti-business regulatory muddle. Tell labor to cool it on anything that costs business or taxpayers money.
Republicans, stop quaking in fear of antitax demagogues and the gun lobby.
Take a member of the rival party to lunch once a month. Develop new relationships and rhetoric.
Cease those exasperating, counterproductive so-called news conferences with casts of thousands: lawmakers and special interests packed like sardines for a photo op that only impresses themselves.
Ditto any hackneyed
For the voters, here’s a sensible resolution suggested by Long Beach reader John McKibben:
For column readers: Keep the emails brief and civil if you expect them to be read, let alone replied to.
A resolution for journalists: Ease off on the overused words
George Skelton is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times.
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